Official Name Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Capital Naypyidaw

Largest City Yangon (Rangoon)

Official Language(s) Burmese

Area 676, 578 km 2

Road Length 124370 km (2013)

Number of registered vehicles 2476672 (June 2012)

Population 51, 486, 253

Neighboring Countries Bangladesh, India, China, Lao,Thailand

Currency Kyat (K) (MMK)

Time Zone MMT (UTC + 06:30)

Calling code +95

Internet LTD .mm

Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Myanmar became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup d’état in 1962, a military dictatorship. While the military dictatorship formally ended in 2011, most of the party leaders are former military officers.

Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.7 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.5 billion.

The country is governed as a parliamentary republic with a bicameral legislature, with a portion of legislators appointed by the military and others elected in general elections. The current president, inaugurated on 30 March 2011, is Thein Sein.

The major political parties are the National League for Democracy, National Democratic Force and the two backed by the military: the National Unity Party, and the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

The culture of Myanmar has been heavily influenced by Buddhism and the Mon people. Burmese culture has also been influenced by its neighbors India, Thailand and China.

In more recent times, British colonial rule and westernization have influenced aspects of Burmese culture, including language and education.

The “traditional” Burmese greeting is “mingalaba”.

The typical garment of the Burmese is the Indian lungi or longyi, a sarong worn by both men and women. This replaced the traditional paso for men and tamein for women by the 20th century. For business and formal occasions, Bamar men wear a Manchu Chinese jacket over an English collar shirt, while Bamar women wear a blouse buttoned at the front, called yinzi or to the side, called yinbon , and a shawl.

The most well-known festival is Thingyan, a four-day celebration of the coming lunar new year. This festival is held prior to the Burmese New Year, the first day of Tagu which falls in mid-April.